Business Break Ins Surge; Port Candidate Throws Support to Opponent; School Lockdown Lesson: Communication

Coast Radio News
Local News

29 April 2013

Police say there’s been a surge in business burglaries…

At least five business break-ins and one attempted burglary are currently under investigation in Florence.  Police Lieutenant John Pitcher says there’s definitely been a “spike” in activity.  One sad fact of the matter…

Lt. John Pitcher – “Somebody wants in bad enough, they’re going to get in your place.  Obviously… if you’re alarmed, great.  That helps us out a lot.”

At one location burglars stole surveillance cameras and other electronic gear to possibly prevent anyone from retrieving video evidence.  In all cases, though, there appeared to be one objective.

Lt. John Pitcher – “Don’t leave cash in the business, you know.  Put your deposits in the bank.  I know people have to have an operating till.  Lock that operating till away in the safe; don’t leave it out.”

Pitcher said at this point they’re not sure if all of the cases are related but they do have a couple of leads they are working on.

Port Candidate Says He’s Supporting Opponent

The crowded race for four seats on the Port of Siuslaw Commission thinned out a little over the weekend.  The incumbent in position one, John Buchanan, announced he would be dropping out of the race and is endorsing one of his opponents.

Buchanan was recently diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing treatment in California.  He is now backing contractor and commercial fisherman Terry Duman.  Buchanan said both candidates were qualified, but Duman’s long time residency and knowledge of both the community and the port gave him the edge.

Ballots are expected to be mailed out later this week and they will still contain Buchanan’s name.  If by chance he is reelected, Buchanan said he will serve.

School Lockdown Lesson Teaches Communications

There were some tense moments at Siuslaw Middle School Thursday afternoon when a teacher looked out the window of her classroom.

Lisa Peterson – “She saw a car pull up on the side of the street and someone get out of the car and place a box underneath her window and then get back in the car and took off.  So she immediately alerted the office and we immediately went into lock down.”

Middle school principal Lisa Peterson said they called police who said the box was filled with small toys.  After the 20-minute lockdown was lifted, Peterson then saw students and a teacher from the Head Start program outside with a box that matched the first one.

Peterson questioned the teacher and discovered it was all part of a scavenger hunt.  Peterson said she became upset when the other teacher didn’t seem to take the concerns seriously.

Lisa Peterson – “Tried to cool off a little bit because I was frustrated, you know, a lack of communication.  That if you’re going to be around and do something like that, I guess just think about the big picture and what’s going on in the world right now.”

The episode was educational all around with communication being the main lesson.  Peterson said the lockdown worked smoothly and everyone knew what they were supposed to do.